Today, September 8, marks my 28th birthday. As such I thought I’d look back at the past year and forward to the coming year.
I am certainly not where I thought I’d be at 28. I still rely on ODSP and don’t have a steady source of income outside of that. My housing situation is far from ideal, filled with a variety of stressors and limited by financial resources. Family and friends continue to age, and this past year has had more than it’s fair share of losses. And romantic relationships remain as elusive as ever.
And yet, I’ve grown in a number of ways I couldn’t have anticipated this time last year. Physically, I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been–dietary and lifestyle changes to combat diabetes are paying dividends, and I feel confident, comfortable, and in control of my body. Mentally, I’m better that I’ve been in years–a change in meds proved to be hugely beneficial, and my sleep schedule and general mood are finally close to normal. I’ve learned that I’m far more capable of leadership than I ever thought I could be, and that was a huge confidence booster.
I started going out an autism support group more regularly this past year, and that has been a huge source of confidence-building and a source of growth for self-knowledge. Learning more about the neurochemistry and executive functioning challenges associated with autism as certainly been helpful and allows me to monitor and regulate myself a lot easier.
I returned to campus ministry as alumnus after a year away–but that year away gave me the distance I needed to be able to know when to sit back and when to step forward. Still discerning with the Spirit my exact role, but I feel there are lessons still to be learned there. I also got more and more involved in my local congregation, culminating in finally accepting baptism by water and going through the confirmation process to become a full-fledged member of the United Church of Canada and the Dublin St United Church congregation in Guelph.
Having a reliable and modern vehicle has also been a huge asset, and really helped me visit my family and friends more often, despite the distances separating us.
All in all, I’m more at peace with myself and my place in the world than I’ve ever been before. My hope for the next year is that centering and grounding provides a foundation on which to build and start accomplishing some of the more “exterior” measures of growth.